From Easter Sunday (1 April), Irish people will be able to access their online subscriptions such as Netflix, Spotify and Sky Sports wherever they are in the EU. Previously online subscriptions were not widely available in different countries due to varying national regulations. Providers of free content such as RTE Player and 3Player may also opt-in and make their programming available across the EU.
Removing the boundaries that prevent Europeans from travelling with digital media and content subscriptions is yet another success of the Digital Single Market for European citizens, following the effective abolition of roaming charges that consumers allover Europe have enjoyed since June 2017. So wherever you are in Europe, you will never miss out on your favourite Irish sports broadcasts, TV series, films, games or e-books, that you have digitally subscribed to at home.
The new rules directly respond to new behaviours and habits amongst European citizens using new technologies Consumer spending on video subscription services rose by 113% per year between 2010 and 2014, and the number of users by 56% between 2014 and 2015. It is also estimated that at least 29 million people, or 5.7% of consumers in the EU, could make use of cross-border portability and many more in the future – up to 72 million people by 2020.
In addition, almost 60% of young Europeans say that being able to travel with their subscriptions is an important factor in choosing to subscribe to online services. Making portability a reality addresses this concern, and in turn will help service providers increase the numbers of subscribers.
We have taken another concrete step towards building a true Digital Single Market and a united European digital society, accessible for all our citizens and profitable for our businesses.